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Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

Electricity network broadband standard approved

November 27, 2013 12:54 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The IEEE has approved its 1901.2 Standard for Low-Frequency Narrow-Band Powerline Communications. The standard covers transmission through transformers in the electricity distribution network using frequencies below 500 kHz, while supporting data rates of up to 500 kbps.

Minn. names top broadband officer for new division

November 27, 2013 12:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Mark Dayton's administration announced Danna MacKenzie is the first executive director for the Office of Broadband Development, a division created last spring. The new office has a central role as Minnesota stretches toward a goal of ultra-fast broadband in every corner of the state. Minnesota's goal is 2015, but most people involved say that will be tough.

Report: Service provider router/switch market to hit $20 billion by 2017

November 27, 2013 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The router and switch market for service providers continued to claw its way back in the most recent third quarter, according to a report by Infonetics Research. Over the long haul, Infonetics forecasts the service provider router and switch market would grow at a 7 percent CAGR from 2012 to 2017, when it will reach $20.2 billion.

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Comcast activates IPv6 on Arris gateways

November 26, 2013 1:29 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast has implemented a software upgrade in Arris wireless gateways that enable IPv6 support. Separately, Arris announced it was the system integrator for the IPTV headend that BT has been using to distribute BT TV and BT Sport. Arris integrated its own encoders and platform with products from Screen, Miranda, and Brocade.

It’s Showtime for TWC, BHN’s authenticated subs

November 26, 2013 12:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are serving up Showtime Network’s authenticated TV Everywhere service, Showtime Anytime, to their subscribers for free. The cable operator customers need to be subscribers of Showtime in order to gain access to the multi-screen content, which is available across computers, iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets or Kindle Fire devices anywhere across the nation. 

Time Warner Cable updates WiFi Finder app

November 25, 2013 12:48 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Wi-Fi request line is now open at Time Warner Cable. Time Warner Cable announced this morning that it had updated its WiFi Finder app, which included a “request a hotspot” feature that allows subscribers to ask for new Wi-Fi access points in specific locations.

BlackBerry shakeup continues as COO, CFO depart

November 25, 2013 12:43 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry's interim chief executive has shaken up BlackBerry's management team in a move seen as prelude to him taking the top job himself. Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear and Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben, both hired by recently ousted CEO Thorsten Heins, will leave the struggling smartphone maker.

Midcontinent signs on to provide home security services

November 22, 2013 1:36 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Midcontinent has joined the Comporium Security, Monitoring and Automation (SMA) dealer program. iControl has become the cable industry’s go-to security systems company, with a customer roster that includes Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Rogers Cable, Bright House Networks, Bell Aliant, Swisscom, and Comporium itself.

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Media: Comcast mulls offer on TWC, Charter gears up for bid

November 22, 2013 1:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While Charter Communications and Liberty Media’s John Malone are reportedly lining up funding for a bid to buy Time Warner Cable, Comcast is checking into the possible regulatory hurdles it could face should it choose to purse the nation’s second-largest cable operator. CNBC reported that Comcast was asking for guidance on anti-trust and other potentia telecommunications issues that would be associated with a bid for TWC.

FCC Chair pushing for phone networks to go all-IP

November 22, 2013 12:38 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Tom Wheeler said that the Technology Transitions Policy Task Force—assembled by former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at the behest of AT&T and NTCA—will present a status update at the Dec. 12 Commission meeting. With that research in hand, Wheeler expects the FCC by January to draft an order concerning experimentation, data collection, and policy, legal and technical outlines for the IP transition agenda.

TWC hotspot network now open to Cox customers

November 21, 2013 1:56 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Cox Communications customers can now link in to Time Warner Cable’s Wi-Fi hotspot network, pursuant to the roaming arrangement among major MSOs announced earlier this year called Cable Wi-Fi. Bright House, Cablevision/Optimum, Comcast/Xfinity, Cox and Time Warner Cable formed Cable Wi-Fi as a vehicle for creating a much wider network of Wi-Fi hotspots.

Xbox One a gateway, not just a game machine

November 21, 2013 12:51 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Microsoft wants you to think of Xbox One as more than a game machine. You can use it to watch movies on Netflix and Hulu Plus. You can hook it up to your cable box to watch live TV. You can Skype your grandma and share family photos through the SkyDrive storage service.

Comcast, Verizon score MEF awards

November 21, 2013 12:41 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Metro Ethernet Forum announced today that Comcast and Verizon were the big winners in its Carrier Ethernet Awards for the North American region. In the “Best Carrier Ethernet Business Application” category, Comcast Business topped fellow finalists AT&T and Level 3.

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C Spire signs up another city for FTTH

November 20, 2013 1:59 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The city of Clinton, Miss., and C Spire have signed a franchise agreement for the communications company's new broadband fiber home Internet service. Thirty-three cities submitted applications after C Spire unveiled its Fiber to the Home program in late September. The franchise agreements have to be executed by both the cities and the telecommunications company before installation of the fiber can begin.

TiVo lines up Blue Ridge for whole-home DVR

November 20, 2013 1:55 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Blue Ridge use the TiVo’s T6 DVR, a model with six tuners. It will also rely on TiVo's cloud-based service, HD set-top boxes for non-DVR households (TiVo Preview), as well as the TiVo Mini, the TiVo Stream, a TiVo web portal, and TiVo mobile applications for iOS and Android mobile devices.

Harmonic snags two Cisco execs

November 20, 2013 12:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Harmonic has hired former Cisco sales executives Frank Montalto and Spencer Hodson. Montalto is now Harmonic’s regional vice president for North American cable and telco while Hodson joined the company as vice president of sales strategy, operations, and enablement.

Sling Media pops up on Roku

November 19, 2013 1:59 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Sling Media’s latest version of its client (SlingPlayer 3.0) and the SlingPlayer channel on the Roku streaming platform are both available for download immediately. A sling app for Windows 8.1 is scheduled to be released in December. The new version of SlingPlayer are also now available for iPhone and Android smartphones.

Broadband adoption slows in Q3

November 19, 2013 1:18 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The seventeen largest cable and telephone providers in the U.S. added about 520,000 Internet subscribers in the third quarter of 2013. That brought their aggregate total to about 83.6 million subscribers. The top MSOs attracted about 440,000 of the new subscribers.

Bright House Networks chalks up customer win with university

November 19, 2013 12:31 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks Business Solutions has landed a deal to provide its services to Florida Polytechnic University, which is slated to open its doors next fall. As part of the agreement, Bright House Networks will provide Florida Polytechnic University, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) school, metro Ethernet, dedicated Internet Access, hosted voice and video services.

Cable Center picks 6 for Hall of Fame

November 19, 2013 12:27 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This morning the Cable Center announced the newest members to its Cable Hall of Fame. The six inductees will be honored during the annual Cable Hall of Fame Celebration, which will be held in conjunction with The Cable Show in Los Angeles on April 29.

Yahoo vows to encrypt all its users' personal data

November 19, 2013 12:21 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Yahoo is expanding its efforts to protect its users' online activities from prying eyes by encrypting all the communications and other information flowing into the Internet company's data centers around the world. The commitment announced Monday by Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer follows a recent Washington Post report that the National Security Agency has been hacking into the communications lines of the data centers.

Google to pay $17M to settle Safari privacy case

November 19, 2013 12:16 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Google is paying $17 million to 37 states and the District of Columbia to make amends for the Internet search leader's snooping on millions of people using Safari Web browsers in 2011 and 2012. The settlement announced Monday stems from a technological loophole that enabled Google's DoubleClick advertising network to shadow unwitting Safari users.

Amdocs forum illuminates new era of service modernization

November 18, 2013 3:03 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | News | Comments

Inventive ways to custom-manage bandwidth caps, payment plans and fine-grained customer messaging are built into new software designed to bring telecommunications providers into a new realm of service provision that’s designed for personalization and backed by Big Data analytics.

Reynolds leaves Comcast for Harris Broadcast; Hess takes on some duties

November 18, 2013 12:38 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Steve Reynolds has left his job at Comcast to join Denver-based Harris Broadcast. Reynolds, who played a key role in the development of Comcast’s Reference Design Kit (RDK), was hired as Harris Broadcast’s chief technology officer. 

Roku teams with AOL to create news channel

November 15, 2013 12:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

“News is among the fastest growing categories on the Roku platform and this partnership with AOL makes it even easier for customers to find and start watching a variety of news videos,” said Steve Shannon, general manager of content and services, Roku. “This is the first integrated news service on a TV streaming platform and we expect for it to be a big hit.”

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